Jesus brings the world from the abyss

"Jesus comes out of the water, drawing the world with him, as it were, and raising it up when it had hitherto been sunk in the abyss...." -Gregory of Nazianzus, Fourth Century.

"A Christian parish becomes its best self when it accepts the challenge of community. The parish community, as the real expression of a local church, cannot limit its attention to the search for justice and intimacy among its own members; it must be prepared to take up the cross, standing against evil and injustice wherever they exist in the world...."

-Nathan Mitchell, Liturgy, vol. 1, no. 2, 1980. Quoted in A Christmas Sourcebook (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1984), p. 146.

"The heart of Christianity is the self-emptying, kenotic humility of God expressed in Jesus the Christ... At the heart of God's humility is this: God willingly is wounded."

-Maggie Ross, Seasons of Death and Life: A Wilderness Memoir. San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1990.

Image: The Baptism, Menologion of Basil II, p. 299, late 10th or early 11th cent.